Texas – Amended Sales and Use Tax Exemptions

SALT Report 2585 – The Texas State Legislature passed a Bill that amends Section 151.313 of the tax code regarding the sales tax exemption for certain medical equipment; and Section 151.319(a) of the tax code regarding the sales tax exemption for newspapers. The amendments are as follows.

Exemption for Intravenous System

The sales tax exemption for intravenous systems, supplies, and replacement parts used in the treatment of humans has been amended to include intravenous systems, supplies, and replacement parts designed or intended to be used in the diagnosis or treatment of humans.

A product is considered an intravenous system if it is designed or intended to be used to administer fluids, electrolytes, blood, blood products, or drugs to patients or to withdraw blood or fluids. Qualified intravenous systems include access ports, adapters, bags and bottles, cannulae, cassettes, catheters, clamps, connectors, drip chambers, extension sets, filters, in-line ports, luer locks, needles, poles, pumps and batteries, spikes, tubing, valves, volumetric chambers, and other items designed or intended to connect products to one another or to secure products to a patient. However, the exemption does not apply to wound drain products.

Exemption for Hospital Beds

Under the provisions of the Bill, a product is considered a hospital bed if it is purchased, sold, leased, or rented, and specially designed for the comfort and well-being of a patient and the convenience of health care workers.

The term “hospital bed” includes the following:

  • A mattress for the bed,
  • Any devices built into the bed or designed for use with the bed,
  • Infant warmers,
  • Incubators,
  • Beds for neonatal and pediatric patients, and
  • Beds specifically designed and marketed for use in the rest, recuperation, and treatment of obese patients, obstetric patients, and burn patients

Additionally, the Bill provides that qualified hospital beds include those with special features such as wheels, adjustable height, adjustable side rails, and electronic buttons to operate the bed or nearby devices. However, the exemption does not apply to bed linens, stretchers, gurneys, delivery tables, or detached accessories such as over-bed tables, trapeze devices, or scales.

Newspaper Exemption

The sales tax exemption for newspapers has been amended to reflect that a “newspaper” is a publication that is printed on newsprint, with an average sales price for each copy over a 30-day period that does not exceed $3, and that is printed and distributed daily, weekly, or any other short interval for the dissemination of news of a general character and general interest. The $3 average sales price reflects an increase from $1.50.

The provisions in House Bill 3169 are effective September 1, 2013.

For Further Information

Texas State Legislature – House Bill 3169, Laws 2013